NEWS

Huawei held a presentation at its Shenzhen headquartes revealing its plans for the imminent future. "Premium" is the buzzword, and understandably so, as the recently published financial results indicate that mid- to high-end devices were key in the company's last-year growth. At the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in March, Huawei is set to focus on Android wearables. The venue is selected to mark the company's foray into the smartwatch world. Lessons were learned during the yet brief existence of the niche, and consumers tend to favor a more conventional round shape. Such is Huawei's concept as well, as a prototype black body with a round face is pictured in the presentation. How close that image is to the actual device remains to be seen. A smartband in a rainbow of fresh colors will also be unveiled, for the tech-savvy outdoor crowd. A dedicated Huawei app is in the works for easy monitoring of the feed of info coming from your wrists. While no official info was revealed on the upcoming Huawei P8 flagship, the smartphone lineup is to remain unaltered. The Mate and P-series occupy the top with the Honor and G series spanning the midrange. The tablet lineup, on the other hand, will be expanded with the introduction of the M-series of devices, apparently in the larger tablet segment. Targeted at mobile multimedia gobblers, the series will offer "Outstanding Audio/Visual Experience", in Huawei's phrasing. All in all, ambitious promises from the Chinese company. We're looking forward to the MWC to see whether they will start...


Lenovo has proudly announced that its recent flash sale of the A6000 budget-minded smartphone was a success, selling out 10,000 pieces in just 2 seconds. The marketing stunt, pioneered by Xiaomi and later adopted by emerging brand Yureka, has proven to work miracles on the Indian market and is now being exploited even by the more established Chinese phone manufacturer Lenovo. With over 255,000 registrations for the sale on the online store Flipkart, it's no wonder the stock was promptly cleared. The smartphone's attractive price tag of Rs. 6,999 ($113) could be the chief reason for the hype. That amount of cash lands you a 5-inch screen of 1280x720px resolution in an understated, but reasonably good-looking package. The innards are nothing to write home about, but you still get the popular Snapdragon 410 chipset with 1GB of RAM and 8GB of onboard storage, expandable via microSD. If you had your mind set on the Lenovo A6000 but were left out of the last flash sale, fret not, for a new batch is coming soon and registrations are already underway. Source | Via 1...


It comes as no surprise that Nokia is still recovering from the fairly recent restructuring, brought about by the acquisition of its devices & services units department by Microsoft. But while a lot of people think the Finnish tech giant is dead, the latest fiscal report for 2014 definitely shows otherwise. The fact is that even though Microsoft is, for the time being at least, in charge of the Lumia brand Nokia is still a very reputable player in terms of network equipment and services and still carries out productive research activities. That being said the Finnish company has still a lot to account for when it comes to its three main divisions - Nokia Networks, Nokia Technologies and HERE. Even since the aforementioned acquisition was completed sales numbers and operation costs have been on the rise and the latest report now confirms that in Q4 2014 Nokia finally achieved higher overall net sales over the same period in 2013 when Microsoft was still out of the picture. The year over year change is about 9% from 3 476 million net sales in Q4 2013 to 3 802 million in Q4 2014. This represents an even more impressive 14% quarter over quarter rise. Nokia seems to be getting on its feet again and predominantly thanks to Nokia Networks, which reals in more of the income with its operations stretching all around the world, but most notably in Europe and Asia-Pacific. Operational profit increase is even more impressive with 28% overall growth from 2013 and an impressive 25% for Nokia networks in particular. Even though networking seems to reel in the big money this is not to say that Nokia's other two major divisions are not doing good. On the contrary, Nokia Technologies, the dedicated research department marks a 23% yearly growth in net sales over 2013, but sadly a drop in operating profits. HERE, which concerns itself mostly with navigation and the HERE software, recently made available for Android is in pretty much the same position with 15% yearly net sales increase and 20% drop in operating profits. Rajeev Suri, current CEO of Nokia had this to say about the report: The power of the new Nokia could be seen in our fourth quarter results. All of our businesses delivered strong year-on-year net sales growth. Profitability was excellent in Nokia Networks, and we were particularly pleased with our net sales growth in North America and core networks. HERE continued its momentum in the automotive segment, and the early reception to the Nokia N1 tablet has been remarkably favorable, showing the ongoing power of the Nokia brand and the long-term potential of our brand licensing business. Looking ahead, while 2014 was a year of reinvention, we see 2015 as a year of execution. Things seem to be finally looking up for Nokia and with the Nokia N1 tablet already captivating users, perhaps the Finnish company still has a chance to regain some of its former glory on the mobile market, but for now all eyes are on Microsoft to take proper care of the Lumia...


It's been a hectic several weeks for accountants the world over, and after Apple boasted record numbers, now LG's figures have been published. LG Mobile Communications Company reports a $14.26B annual revenue, a steady 16% increase on a yearly basis. The rise is fueled in no small part by the North American market, where Q4 2014 marked a substantial 78% increase in units shipped compared to the same period in 2013. Out of a total of 78.2M handsets sold globally, 59.1M were smartphones, a 24% increase. The smartphone sales are reported to be the reason for the boost in full-year consolidated revenue to $55.91B. The figures of the mobile subsidiary are only average for the corporation as a whole. LG Home Entertainment Company (the one making HDTVs) is the top dog with a 31% percent increase in revenue to $18.35B. More importantly, the combined net profit of the conglomerate has skyrocketed to $474.81M, a massive 125% increase over 2013 numbers. Operating profit has seen a notable 46% growth to $1.73B, as...


Thanks to the record-smashing sales of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, Apple has tied with Samsung to become the top smartphone vendor in the world in the fourth quarter of 2014, according to a Strategy Analytics report. The Cupertino-based company shipped a total of 74.5 million smartphones in the last quarter, up from 51 million it shipped in the same quarter in 2013. On the other hand, although Samsung too shipped the same number of handsets, there was a decline compared to Q4, 2013, when the company had shipped 86 million smartphones. For the year as a whole, Samsung remained at the top with total shipments of 317.2 million, which translates into 24.7% share of the market. This compares to 2013, when the company's overall smartphone shipments stood at 319.8 million, giving it a 32.3% market share. "Samsung continues to face intense competition from Apple at the higher-end of the smartphone market, from Huawei in the middle-tiers, and from Xiaomi and others at the entry-level," the report said, adding that the company "may soon have to consider taking over rivals, such as Blackberry, in order to revitalize growth this year." Apple came in next with total shipments of 192.7 million units, capturing 15% of the smartphone market. That was up from the 153.4 million shipments the Cupertino-based company reported for 2013. Chinese players Lenovo and Huawei captured the third and the fourth spots with 7.2% and 5.8% market share, respectively. Overall, 380.1 million smartphone units were shipped in Q4 2014, up 31 percent year-on-year, while a total of around 1.3 billion smartphones shipped for the whole...


Purported image of the second generation Moto E made the rounds online. The successor of Motorola Moto E XT1021 is expected to make its debut in the near future. The alleged press render gives us a clear look of the front and the back of the upcoming device. The appearance of the newcomer follows closely that of the model it is bound to replace, save for the lack of a speaker grille below the display. It is worth noting that the device in the image appears to be wearing a bumper cover, which is more rugged than the out of the box solution. The accessory debuted alongside the first generation Moto G for the first time. Recently rumored specs of the second generation Moto E include Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 SoC (up from Snapdragon 200), 4.5" qHD display, and a gig of RAM. In line with what the image above reveals, the device will boot Android 5.0 out of the box. Source...


Samsung released its earnings report for Q4 of the fiscal 2014. The Korean giant posted operating profit of 5.29 trillion won ( about $4.87 billion) from revenue of 52.73 trillion won ($48.6 billion. The results show a decline from the same period a year ago by over a third. Samsung posted operating profit of 8.3 trillion won last year from 59.28 billion won of revenue. The company's net income has now declined on an annual basis for four straight quarters. Samsung's mobile division posted 26.29 trillion won of revenue and 1.96 trillion won of profit for the quarter thanks to strong sales of Samsung Galaxy Note 4. The profit is down by more than 60% from 5.47 trillion won ($5.09 billion) a year ago. The company expects its mobile business to grow throughout 2015 in emerging markets such as India and China. Expansion of 4G LTE services globally will also help its cause. Samsung will also focus on "new materials, innovative design and differentiated features" in order to make its future devices stand out from the crowd. The newly launched Galaxy A series of smartphones will drive the company's performance over the next quarter until the launch of Samsung Galaxy S6. On the tablet side of the business, Samsung will focus on both premium and affordable devices. The company will continue to push forward in the market for wearables as well. The manufacturer's processor and RAM businesses unsurprisingly did well during the quarter. Considering Samsung's plans to utilize its own silicon in future products, expectations point at a strong year ahead for the units. Source...


Just a few hours after we gave you an exclusive sneak peek at the device's photo and specs, the Samsung Galaxy J1 has been made official - it is now listed on the company's Malaysia website. Pretty much in-line with what we've already noted, it's an entry-level smartphone powered by a 1.2 GHz dual-core processor. The device sports a 4.3-inch WVGA (480 x 800) display, and comes with 512 MB of RAM and 4 GB of internal memory (expandable up to 128 GB via a MicroSD card). The smartphone features a 5 MP camera with LED flash on the back, a 2 MP front snapper, and also packs in a 1850 mAh removable battery that the company claims provides up to 10 hours of talk time. Connectivity includes Wi-Fi b/g/n with Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth 4.0, and GPS + GLONASS. On the software side, the device boasts a Palm Selfie function that the company claims can detect the movement of your hand, so you can easily snap a photo with a simple hand gesture. There's also a Tap to Take Pics feature that lets you take photos by simply tapping anywhere on the screen. The smartphone also features Ultra Power Saving mode. Weighing in at 122 grams and measuring 129 x 68.2 x 8.9 mm, the J1 comes with Android 4.4 KitKat on board, and is available in blue, black, and white. Source |...


Qualcomm confirmed that the high-end Snapdragon 810 chip will not feature "in the upcoming design cycle of a large customer's flagship device." The San Diego-based chipmaker announced its first quarter results for the fiscal 2015. A series of rumors point at Samsung Galaxy S6 as the most likely device to ditch Snapdragon 810 for another solution. The Korean giant's next flagship smartphone will likely utilize a beefy Exynos 7420 chipset with 14nm architecture and octa-core CPU. Qualcomm posted a stellar net income of $2.1 billion from $7.1 billion of revenue for the quarter it reported. However, due to the Snapdragon 810 snub and increased competition from China, the company lowered its earnings expectations for the second half of the fiscal 2015. Overall. Qualcomm somewhat confirmed the floating rumors about Snapdragon 810 not being up to snuff. Losing a "large customer" is certainly not something the company is used to - its silicon featured in just about every high-end smartphone over the past couple of years. Source...


If you've been wondering what other smartphones HTC has in the pipeline for this year aside from the One (M9), then you'll be very interested in this. According to a new (and yet unconfirmed) rumor, the Taiwanese mobile device maker is going to release a handset called One M8i at some point this year. It's currently codenamed M8_QL. The name in use here implies that it will resemble the One (M8), which is pictured to the left, perhaps in terms of design. On the inside, however, the M8i will be a midranger through and through. It will be powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 chipset, namely the MSM8939. This has an octa-core Cortex-A53 processor. Four of its cores can be clocked at up to 1.7 GHz, while the rest only go up to 1 GHz. Unfortunately we don't yet have any other specs to speak of, but the chipset choice indicates we might also see changes in other hardware areas compared to the One (M8). As always with rumors though, don't take anything you just read too seriously, at least not until we get some more leaks and details about this device - if it exists at all, that...


A couple of days ago we told you that Huawei might announce a new smartphone at MWC this March, namely the Mate 7 Compact. As its name clearly implies, this is going to be a smaller version of the already launched Mate 7 phablet. The Mate 7 Compact is rumored to get a 5.5-inch display, half an inch smaller than the 6" panel on the 'full size' Mate 7. And today it's allegedly been seen in the first live images, which you can feast your eyes upon below (click the thumbnails for the full pictures). Update: As it turns out, the images do not showcase the upcoming Huawei Mate 7 Compact. Instead, we are looking at Landvo L600S - a $150 smartphone from China with a rather familiar design. Huawei Mate 7 Compact This leak unfortunately doesn't bring us any additional details about the Mate 7 Compact, just those two photos. Since we have no way of verifying that they are in fact real, don't forget your grain of salt for this one. For now the screen size is all we have to go on in terms of specs. That said, seeing a HiSilicon SoC inside the Mate 7 Compact would not be surprising at all, given Huawei's general preference for using its own chipsets in its smartphones. Source | Source...


The LG G Flex 2 is indeed heading to Vodafone in the UK, just like we heard it would earlier this month. What's more, this particular operator will even be the exclusive seller of the bendy handset for the first six weeks of availability. Pre-orders for Vodafone's G Flex 2 are set to start at Carphone Warehouse on February 28. The phone will finally be in stock on March 19. So there's still a lot of waiting left to do if you're in the UK and crave a G Flex 2. But at least the release details are now out. Carphone Warehouse has put up a special page for the device, where you can register your interest. If you do that, you'll apparently be contacted when you can order one. The G Flex 2 was announced at CES as the successor to the original bendy handset from 2013. It has a 5.5-inch 1080p curved touchscreen, and it's powered by Qualcomm's latest and greatest, the Snapdragon 810 SoC - which sports an octa-core CPU in a big.LITTLE configuration. You have four Cortex-A57 cores clocked at 2 GHz, and four Cortex-A53 cores clocked at 1.5...


Market analyst Juniper Research has just published a report, stating that phablets will surpass one fifth of total smartphones shipped in 2019, with 400M large-screened pocket devices sold. The phablet term encompasses devices within the 5.5-6.9" screen range, according to the company. Juniper Research notes several market tendencies that will lead to the phablet's prominence. The constant increase in screen sizes will likely put most company flagships within the quoted range by year 2019, a trend we're already seeing. The larger displays provide a more appropriate stage for mobile gaming and multimedia content consumption. With Apple finally yielding to market demand and launching a 5.5-inch iPhone, the segment has seen further exposure, the report indicates. That being said, the majority of those 400M devices are projected to be budget offerings. Another point the researchers make is that smaller-screened tablet sales will take a hit, with smartphones catching up to them in size. On the other hand, the higher asking prices of larger tablets might drive consumers away entirely. This grim outlook on tablet future is, however, largely applicable to China, where the smartphone is the predominant means of...


Among the clamor of the Meizu m1 announcement today, a new version of its bigger brother, the m1 note, almost flew under the radar. The China Telecom dedicated variant packs a Snapdragon 615 chipset, as opposed to the Mediatek silicon of the regular version. The Snapdragon 615 is Qualcomm's upper midrange 64-bit offering, sporting an octa-core processor with performance cores clocked at up to 1.7GHZ (1.5GHz in m1 note's case) and power-efficient cores ticking at 1.0GHz. Graphics are handled by the Adreno 405 chip clocked at 550MHz. The rest of the hardware has remained unaltered. The smartphone packs a 1080p 5.5-inch display with minimal bezels. 2GB of RAM is on board, internal storage is non-expandable and is either 16GB or 32GB, depending on the version. The main camera sports a 13MP imager behind an f2.2 lens, while selfies are taken care of by a wide angle 5MP snapper. The Snapdragon 615 version carries a CNY100 price premium over the Mediatek models and the 16GB option costs 1,099CNY ($176) with the more spacious 32GB of storage setting you back 1,299CNY ($208). Source (in Chinese) |...


Two representatives of Samsung's new metal A-series - the Galaxy A3 and Galaxy A5 are apparently making their way to the UK market. The devices will be available starting February 12 from Samsung UK, as well as a number of retailers, like Carphone Warehouse, O2 and EE. Preorders should start today for both the Pearl White and Midnight Black color options, but pricing is still unclear. The two smartphones themselves are mid-range offerings, despite their flashy metal finish. They come equipped with a Qualcomm MSM8916 Snapdragon 410 SoC and an Adreno 306 GPU. The main difference being the displays - a 4.5-inch 540 x 960 pixel unit on the Galaxy A3 and 5-inch 720 x 1280 pixel on the Galaxy A5 and RAM which is 1 GB and 2 GB, respectively. We will be keeping a close eye on availability and if you are in the market for a mid-range Samsung device you could look into the Galaxy A3 and Galaxy A5 in our reviews. Hopefully The Korean tech giant is planning to push along the Galaxy A7 as soon as possible and offer a broader range of hardware choices with the new metal design. Source |...


The ZTE Blade S6 was announced today and will be headed around the world to deliver dual-SIM LTE connectivity plus Lollipop on 64-bit power for people with a tight budget. The phone is built around a 5" IPS LCD with In-cell touch tech and 720p resolution. It runs ZTE's MiFavor 3.0 interface and Smart Sense motion gestures, which can open Play music, snap a series of photos or turn on the flashlight. ZTE Blade S6 will also come in Matte Pink The Blade S6 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 chipset and will be among the very first to run Android 5.0 Lollipop on that chipset. The chipset has eight Cortex-A53 cores (half clocked at 1.7GHz, the otherhalf at 1GHz), those are 64-bit cores too. Lollipop is the first Android version to make proper use of the new instruction set. Anyway, there's 2GB of RAM and Adreno 405 GPU. The storage is 16GB out of the box plus whatever you add with a microSD card. The main camera packs a 13MP sensor (Sony IMX 214), while the selfie camera is a 5MP shooter with a wide-angle lens. The phone measures 7.7mm thick and will be available in matte Silver and Pink. ZTE Blade S6 official photos Connectivity combines practicality with speed - LTE gets up to 150Mbps and there are two nano-SIM slots. There's also a side dish of Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.0, FM radio and A-GPS too. The phone is powered by a 2,400mAh battery. AliExpress will sell the ZTE Blade S6 has globally at $250, in select markets it will also be available through Amazon and eBay. In Hong Kong there's an exclusivity deal with carrier...


Gigabyte announced today a trio of new Android smartphones which cover the high-end, mid-range and entry-level market segments. They're the GSmart Guru GX, GSmart Mika MX and GSmart Roma RX, but let's kick things off with the GSmart Guru GX, the most premium of the three. The Guru GX is built around a 5" 1080p IPS display covered with Gorilla Glass 3 resulting in a pixel density of 441 ppi. The phone is quite thin measuring 139 x 69 x 7mm and features a non-removable 2,300mAh battery. Gigabyte estimates it will be good for 14 hours of talk time and 200 hours of stand-by. Under the unibody design, the Guru GX is powered by a Snapdragon 615 chipset featuring a 1.5GHz octa-core Cortex-A53 CPU and 2GB of RAM. Internal storage is 32GB and is expandable via the microSD card slot. At the back, the Guru GX sports a 13MP camera with Sony Exmor-RS sensor, while at the front a 5MP camera, again with BSI sensor, takes care of selfies. The phone runs Android 4.4 KitKat and is expected to debut in March. Gigabyte GSmart Guru GX Next up is the GSmart Mika MX, which has a 5" qHD IPS display and is powered by a Snapdragon 410 chipset with a 1.2GHz quad-core Cortex-A53 and 1GB of RAM. The phone measures 143 x 72 x 9.8mm and weighs 165 grams. Part of the added weighs is the 3,000mAh battery, which is also removable and can last up to 20 hours of talk time. At the back, there's a 5MP camera with auto-focus and a 2MP at the front. Internal storage is 8GB with an additional option to expand it via the microSD card slot on board. Gigabyte GSmart Mika MX Connectivity options include Cat 4. LTE, Wi-Fi b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.0. The Mika MX runs Android 4.4 and will be available in a dual-SIM version starting in February. Finally, there's the entry-level GSmart Roma RX with a 5" FWVGA (854 x 480 pixels) display. Its measures are similar to the Mika MX at 142 x 73 x 9.5mm and the weight is set at 155 grams. However, it has a significantly smaller 2,000mAh battery. Under the hood of the Roma RX is a MediaTek MT6582 with a quad-core 1.3GHz CPU and 512MB of RAM. Internal storage is 4GB plus a microSD card slot to expand it further by 32GB. At the back of the phone is a 5MP camera with fixed-focus and a VGA at the front. Gigabyte GSmart Roma RX Expect the Roma RX to launch in February. Sadly, Gigabyte didn't provide pricing for any of its new...


Weeks of leaks and rumors on the HTC One (M9) and One (M9) Plus have inevitably lead us to the first official images of the upcoming HTC flagship duo. The treat comes courtesy of notorious leakster Evan Blass on his twitter feed. The images confirm previous info of an all-glass front panel, resulting in a redesigned speaker solution, a Nexus 9 style slit. The bottom speaker appears to be salvaged on both models, putting at rest fears that the fingerprint scanner in the home button will do away with the company's signature stereo sound. And yes, the Plus size model is indeed equipped with a hardware home button, which the regular model lacks. It makes little sense to design a hardware button on one model solely to house a fingerprint scanner, and then do a different implementation sensor on the other model, so it looks like the HTC One (M9) will come without this functionality. Another key feature, revealed by the single photo is the center-mounted front camera. Could it be the 13MP front snapper of the Desire Eye, making its way to the company flagship? The official unveiling will take place at HTC's "Utopia in progress" event in the beginning of March. Judging by the intensification of leaks though, we may get to see the new devices...


The good news from Malaysia just keeps on coming. Yesterday we reported that Asus is releasing a new entry-level addition to its lineup - the Zenfone C. Now new information from the Taiwanese company states that the Asus Zenfone 2 could be available in Malaysia as early as April 2015. The Zenfone Zoom is will also by hitting the market, although possibly at a later point in time. As most of you surely remember the Zenfone 2 made its first appearance at CES 2015 and has been generating attention ever since. For a lot of people the smartphone is just what they are looking for in their next device. It offers formidable hardware for a pretty tantalizing price tag. For a better overview of the Zenfone 2 you can check out our hands-on review from the Las Vegas venue. The Zenfone 2 uses a quad-core, 64-bit Intel Atom Z3580 processor (Z3560 in some regions) and runs Android 5.0 Lollipop with the latest ZenUI from Asus. It boasts a 5.5-inch Full HD IPS display and an impressive 13MP main camera with dual LED flash. A lot of memory options are available with 16 GB, 32 GB and 64 GB units. The choice extends even further with 2GB or 4GB of RAM. Pricing is still unclear, but seeing how Asus has a track record of sticking with roughly the same price as its home market a good guess would be that the 2 GB version will go for about $199, while the 4 GB should set you back $299. Following the same logic the Zenfone Zoom should be sold for about $399 once it becomes...

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